Pipe Down: An 89-Year-Old Water Main Turned a Street in the Hollywood Hills Into a Waterway


L.A.’s aging water mains strike again, this time in the Hollywood Hills: Around 4:30 a.m. this morning, a cast-iron pipe installed in 1926 burst, causing 100,000 gallons of water to gush into the 6400 block of Dix Street. The deluge started to wane around 7:30 a.m., but not before several cars parked in a lot below street level were submerged. According to the LADWP, the leak could take up to 15 hours to repair. Even so, DWP water systems manager Marty Adams told the Los Angeles Times that the leak was “unfortunate but not a disaster,” very much unlike last July’s massively destructive rupture at UCLA.

While the DWP asserted last year that our ancient infrastructure—seriously, 290 of the 7,289 miles of pipes running beneath the city were built prior to 1915—leak or burst an average of three times per day, the state of our watery affairs isn’t all bad: per a 2014 report, there were about 1,000 water main breaks in L.A. in 2013, a 40 percent decrease since 2006.